Now Playing Tracks

After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.

Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
Did this.

I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?

The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.

She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,

Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.

She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.

Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.

Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.

She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
Questions.

She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.

To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.

And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.

And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,

With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.

Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.

They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.

Not everything is lost.

Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952), “Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal.” I think this poem may be making the rounds, this week, but that’s as it should be.  (via oliviacirce)

When I lose hope in the world, I remember this poem.

Oh, goodness. 

Some are put on paths because they are meant to cross with someone else.

(via oye-hero)

blue-author:

charity-knows-best:

iwriteaboutfeminism:

stfueverything:

pixiepienix:

look at this fragile delicate flower of a man look at how precarious his value and identity is wonder at the marvel that is masculinity

This makes me want to cry blood.

This is a prime example of patriarchy at work. He can’t handle holding a fucking purse for 2 fucking seconds before he has to bust out his “man bag” so he can feel validated by his male peers who are rooting him on for not wanting to be feminine. Is his ego and sense of masculinity so fragile he can’t possibly brush it with the slightest amount of femininity before he crashes and burns??

Not to mention the fact that a symbol of feminity is being equated to a literal piece of shit.

or maybe he just doesn’t want to hold a fucking purse? god fucking damn it.

You’re right. We shouldn’t for anything in the world ever think about why he wouldn’t want to hold a purse, why he would feel it’s reasonable to drop it like it’s radioactive and then treat it both like toxic waste and a shameful secret, or why an audience of men would applaud him for treating it in this way instead of just holding the thing his wife asked him to hold.

Masculinity is too fragile to withstand investigation. We must protect it at all costs.

We make Tumblr themes